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homo_loquens
Core Memory
Posts: 18
Registered: ‎09-29-2012
Location: US
Views: 641
Message 1 of 15

P50: How to replace new HDD with old SSD?

My P50 died. The repair center failed to fix it, so they are sending me a new machine. To avoid 3 weeks delay, I am getting a standard model they have in stock. This model has 500 GB spinner HDD (it comes with Windows 7 Pro preinstalled). I need to remove it and replace with M.2 PCIe NVMe 1 TB SSD from my old machine (it runs Windows 10 pro and has all my documents). I have found manuals and guides how to do it from the mechanical standpoint, but I am still not sure about the right sequence and changes to BIOS.

 

What should I do?

 

         A) Don't turn the computer on. Instead, just unscrew HDD, insert M.2 PCIe SSD, only then turn the computer on.

 

         B) Turn the computer on with HDD first, enter BIOS, change from which kind of a disk and which slot it boots, only then unscrew HDD, insert M.2 PCIe SSD and after that turn it on again.

 

         C) Something else?

 

My guess is that if the machine would come with M.2 PCIe SSD, I could easily replace new with the old one without any hassle, but because it is a different kind of a disk in a different slot, I am concerned I might run into problems.

SeniorGuru
Posts: 2,131
Registered: ‎06-13-2013
Location: US
Views: 607
Message 2 of 15

Re: P50: How to replace new HDD with old SSD?

Your option A is perfectly fine.

 

No matter what storage device(s) you have installed, when you boot the machine you are presented with the Lenovo logo screen with the "press ENTER to interrupt boot sequence" message.

 

In theory (until recent BIOS update "broke" this) if you pressed ENTER at this point you would be presented with the interrupt sub-menu that offers you a set of choices (e.g. F1 to enter BIOS Setup utility, F12 to select boot device, ESC to just forget about this interrupt and return to normal boot process, etc.).  In practice, this ENTER action doesn't seem to work as expected with recent BIOS updates.  But you can press F1 instead of ENTER, and you will be directed instantly to the BIOS Setup utility.

 

Once you are in the Setup utility you can now change the BIOS boot sequence, which will offer you the complete list of devices from which booting can be done... whether or not they are actually physically in your machine.  So if you say to boot from NVMe0 that's where the BIOS will attempt to go there when you actually do next boot the machine.  You'll only have a problem if there's no bootable device there, but you're going to be reinstalling your original NVMe drive with Win10 and all your data on it so when you next boot everything should be fine.

 

Press F10 to save/exit from the BIOS Setup utility and restart the normal boot process again.  You've already changed the boot sequence to go to your reinstalled 1TB NVMe drive, so you should be good to go.

 

Now of some concern to me is the fact that your previously installed and activated Win10 system (on that old NVMe device that you're transplanting into your new machine) probably has some insight into your previous machine's hardware, i.e. physical makeup (e.g. machine serial number) as well as UEFI BIOS and the old OEM license key for Win10 from the old machine.  Since you now have a new machine, with new OEM license key in it, I wonder if this will cause problems for your already installed and activated Win10 on the NVMe drive from the old machine. The new machine has a new serial number.

 

I honestly have never gotten a replacement machine, so I don't know what actually needs to be done to get Windows up and running on the new machine.  I'm not concerned about salvaging your data from the old NVMe drive, as there are a number of ways you can copy it even if you had to get a second NVMe drive from Lenovo, or just use an external backup drive and copy-out/copy-back, etc.  I'm more concerned about the licensed and activated Windows system, licensed software, etc., all of which you have previously installed on your existing 1TB NVMe drive when it lived in your previous hardware machine with its own UEFI BIOS.

 

But as far as BIOS boot sequence is concerned, you can always press F1 at boot time to enter the BIOS setup utility to change the boot sequence permanently, or F12 to alter the boot sequence temporarily. Again, pressing ENTER is supposed to give you the sub-menu to choose what you want the BIOS to do next, but on my P70 with latest BIOS this no longer works.

practical
802.11n
Posts: 353
Registered: ‎10-19-2008
Location: US
Views: 606
Message 3 of 15

Re: P50: How to replace new HDD with old SSD?

From the perspective of changing the boot order, it should really make no difference which way you go -- except that if the SSDs are not installed, the option to boot from them might not even appear in the boot list.  If they are properly enumerated and there were no NVMe drives installed, the boot process would simply default to the next device on the list which is present.  No damage should happen, either way.

 

If it were me, I'd first verify that the new machine boots properly with the configuration supplied from Lenovo -- no smoke, drama, etc.  Perhaps even run the full diagnostics as well.  Maybe "burn it in" overnight.

 

When you are satisfied that all is well, then insert the NVMe drives, verify that they appear in the boot options menu and make the changes appropriately.  You would not want to risk loosing your data, installed software, etc. in the event your replacement is a lemon.

 

 

______________________________________________
P70, Xeon 1505 CPU, 64 GB ECC RAM, Samsung 970 Pro 1 TB + 512 GB NVMe Drives, 1 TB HDD, DVD-RW, 4 K Display, NVIDIA Quadro M4000
W700 model 2757-CTO (8 GB RAM, Crucial MX-100 SSD + Hitachi TravelStar 1 TB 7200 RPM Drives, Bluray R/W, NVIDIA Quadro FX3700M, WUXGA); Windows 7 Ultimate SP-1, W700 Mini-Dock
homo_loquens
Core Memory
Posts: 18
Registered: ‎09-29-2012
Location: US
Views: 589
Message 4 of 15

Re: P50: How to replace new HDD with old SSD?

Thank you, I looked forward to your advice specifically, as you are the best expert on these matters. Now I know what to do.

 

With respect to Windows concerns: how it would look like? Will Windows ask me to update some info somehwere, or it could just refuse to load? First case, I presume, is easily solvable. Second might not. 

 

I am not worried about other software - I can reinstall it if needed, I own all the licenses, only Windows came with the machine.

 

What I am worried about is my data. Sadly, this disk is so new, it's super-hard to get data from it. Before shipping it for repair, I was instructed to get data from it and went to a pretty serious computer repair center in Philly. They failed and told me the disk is dead too. Only in Lenovo repair center they put it in another P50 and found that the disk does work.

homo_loquens
Core Memory
Posts: 18
Registered: ‎09-29-2012
Location: US
Views: 588
Message 5 of 15

Re: P50: How to replace new HDD with old SSD?

Thank you, it's good idea to check the new machine first.
practical
802.11n
Posts: 353
Registered: ‎10-19-2008
Location: US
Views: 573
Message 6 of 15

Re: P50: How to replace new HDD with old SSD?

As usual, DSpeber's insights are spot-on.

 

There is a procedure outlined in the HW manual for P70 machines (and I'm sure similarly, for P50s) describing how to change the embedded serial numbers within a motherboard to match the original machine, in the event of a motherboard replacement, specifically to ensure compatibility with installed software.  An entire new machine certainly presents the same issue.

 

You might just verify with the service depot that this step was taken (or should be done in the field) and your old machine's signature transferred.  In that way, concerns for OS not recognizing the license key should be avoided.

 

______________________________________________
P70, Xeon 1505 CPU, 64 GB ECC RAM, Samsung 970 Pro 1 TB + 512 GB NVMe Drives, 1 TB HDD, DVD-RW, 4 K Display, NVIDIA Quadro M4000
W700 model 2757-CTO (8 GB RAM, Crucial MX-100 SSD + Hitachi TravelStar 1 TB 7200 RPM Drives, Bluray R/W, NVIDIA Quadro FX3700M, WUXGA); Windows 7 Ultimate SP-1, W700 Mini-Dock
homo_loquens
Core Memory
Posts: 18
Registered: ‎09-29-2012
Location: US
Views: 560
Message 7 of 15

Re: P50: How to replace new HDD with old SSD?

I thought about that and there is a section on it in P50 maintenance manual. Unfortunately, even compared to actual hardware instructions, it reads pretty esoteric to me (also links there are broken). Assume I have the serial number from my old machine. What do I do next?

 

 

This is what it says, but I am not sure I understand it:

"After you replace the system board, do the following to restore the serial number of the system unit:
1. Connect the Maintenance Key to the computer.

2. When the logo is displayed, press Esc. The ThinkPad Config Information Update Utility interface is
displayed.
3. Type 1 under Enter the action desired, then press Enter. The ThinkPad Serial Number Update Utility for
Asset ID screen is displayed.
4. Type 1 under Enter the action desired, then press Enter. Then follow the instructions on the screen
to restore the serial number of the system unit."

SeniorGuru
Posts: 2,131
Registered: ‎06-13-2013
Location: US
Views: 553
Message 8 of 15

Re: P50: How to replace new HDD with old SSD?

I don't think the "asset id" update utility is what we're talking about.

 

We're talking about the regular BIOS Update Utility which is what gets run when you download any updated BIOS release from the Lenovo support site.  Lenovo provides both a standalone bootable USB/CD version of the utility, as well as a version of the utility which runs (or at least gets started) under a running Windows and then requests that you restart, at which point the 2nd part of the update functionality runs (same as if it had been initiated from the standalone bootable USB/CD version).  This is how you upgrade your BIOS from say level 2.07 to 2.08, etc.

 

Anyway, the BIOS update utility also has the ability to replace (a) the model number of the machine, and (b) the serial number of the machine.  These are both stored in the firmware on the motherboard.  So when you get a new replacement motherboard (which would come with its own new serial number and the same model number as your original machine's motherboard), you can use the BIOS update utility to stuff in your original serial number (which is good, because Lenovo has this number in your warranty registration information).  The actual delivered serial number in the replacement motherboard gets overwritten by this function of the BIOS update utility.  Then going forward it looks to Lenovo (and System Update, etc.) as if you still are using all of your originally purchased factory hardware.

 

Of course if you get a complete replacement machine, you'll obviously also be getting a replacement motherboard which again implies a new serial number. So again, using the BIOS update utility to restore the original serial number allows everything to look going forward as if you were still using your original machine, and not a replacement.

 

Normally, when the BIOS update utility is run to just update the BIOS level (say from 2.07 to 2.08) you would bypass this optional task (i.e. reply "n" to the question it asks as to whether or not you want to update either the model number or serial number in the firmware).  But this is where and how you would do that, if you needed to.

 

And normally, if you had a service visit from a Lenovo tech who did replace your motherboard at your home, they would themselves run this BIOS update utility and make use of this function, producing a result so that to all currently installed software as well Windows which makes use of the machine serial number as part of license key authentication and product registration they would simply never know you were not still running with the very same physical motherboard you originally had when you did the original software install.

Guru
Posts: 1,749
Registered: ‎04-20-2008
Location: US
Views: 505
Message 9 of 15

Re: P50: How to replace new HDD with old SSD?


@homo_loquens wrote:

I thought about that and there is a section on it in P50 maintenance manual. Unfortunately, even compared to actual hardware instructions, it reads pretty esoteric to me (also links there are broken). Assume I have the serial number from my old machine. What do I do next?

 

 

This is what it says, but I am not sure I understand it:

"After you replace the system board, do the following to restore the serial number of the system unit:
1. Connect the Maintenance Key to the computer.

2. When the logo is displayed, press Esc. The ThinkPad Config Information Update Utility interface is
displayed.
3. Type 1 under Enter the action desired, then press Enter. The ThinkPad Serial Number Update Utility for
Asset ID screen is displayed.
4. Type 1 under Enter the action desired, then press Enter. Then follow the instructions on the screen
to restore the serial number of the system unit."


I'm not sure if you've already received your replacement system, but I would be cautious in changing the serial number to be the old system. Your warranty has been transferred to the replacement system and the old system has been deactivated in the warranty system. You could wind up w/o any warranty by changing the new system to be the old serial number.

 

YMMV


P70 XEON 1505, BIOS 2.28, UHD 4k Display, 64GB non-ECC RAM, M3000M NVIDIA GPU, RAID 1 512GB Samsung 951 PCIe-NVMe SSD x 2, 2x Samsung 850 Pro 1TB SSD. EM7455 WWAN
P1. BIOS 1.17,Xeon Processor, 32GB, PM981 1TB x 2, RAID 1
T460s, BIOS 1.20, WQHD display, 20GB RAM, I7-6600U, Samsung PM961 1TB PCIe-NVMe SSD, EM7455 WWAN
T470s, 16GB RAM, BIOS 1.10, i7-7500, WQHD display, 512GB PM961 PCIe NVMe SSD
homo_loquens
Core Memory
Posts: 18
Registered: ‎09-29-2012
Location: US
Views: 480
Message 10 of 15

Re: P50: How to replace new HDD with old SSD?

Oh great. This is a much simpler task. And I do remember that when you update BIOS, it asks you if you want to update the progam or change the serial number. I will choose the latter.

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